Observation, Goal, and Necessity

The threefold order of the social organism should be understood neither as a concept, a political program, or even a utopia. First, we can see it as the description of the reality of three interacting fields of life in interpersonal togetherness.

Just as we distinguish the three creation processes of root formation, leaf development, and seed ripening in the plant, so in the social organism, one finds cultural and spiritual life, legal life, and economic life as three independent and interacting elements. Secondly, it is possible to regard the social conditions in the sense of the threefold order as a goal to be striven for: the plant naturally stands in the harmony of its three creation processes within. In earlier times, harmony between the three social elements was given by spiritual guidance; Today, striving for freedom is a novelty for us. A task that is only to be developed in the common striving for knowledge and action.

Thirdly, we can feel the development of the social organism into its tripartite essence as an urgent necessity. Given the catastrophe of war, Rudolf Steiner wrote an ‹Appeal to the German People and the Cultural World› in March 1919, which ended with the words: «One hears in spirit the practitioners who indulge in the complexity of what is said here, who find it uncomfortable to even think about the interaction of three bodies which may not know of the real demands of life but want to shape everything according to the comfortable demands of their thinking. It must become clear to them: either one will be comfortable submitting to the demands of reality with one’s thinking, or one will have learned nothing from the misfortune but will multiply what has been brought about into the unlimited by what continues to arise.» (GA 23, V. Annex)

The Second World War followed the First World War. Today we can ask ourselves to what extent their causes continue to work. A change will be possible to the extent that we recognize the threefold order of the social organism as a reality, strive for it as a goal, and regard it as a necessity. The conference ‹Dreigliederung Schweiz› (Threefold order of Switzerland) of the Anthroposophical Society in Switzerland is dedicated to this endeavor.

Event ‹Threefold order of Switzerland – ideas, impulses, initiatives for the recovery of the social organism›, November 25. to 27., 2022

Image Conference Flyer – Translation: Monika Werner

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